About

The Lown Institute is a nonpartisan think tank advocating bold ideas for a just and caring system for health.

At its heart, health care is about people taking care of one another. Those who choose healing professions understand this and dedicate their careers to relieving the suffering of others.

In a health system that works, patients receive all the care they need and none that they do not, while clinicians take great satisfaction in their roles. Our society grows stronger, more stable, and more productive.

But the industrialization of health care has disrupted the healing relationship between clinicians and patients. Profits have been prioritized over healing. Too often, our system not only fails to heal, but creates new suffering.

It’s time for a health system worthy of our nation, a system that rejects low-value care, incentivizes healing over profits, promotes health equity, and honors the value of the clinician-patient relationship.

The Lown Institute believes that a radically better American health system is possible. Through our bold ideas, we are leading the movement towards this next system for health. We conduct research, convene experts, and spark public debate to bridge the gap between existing public policy solutions and the care that Americans want and need.

Notable Accomplishments

Organized the first conference in the world dedicated to the problem of overtreatment. (2012)

Progenitors of a new field of health care research that studies patient harm from unnecessary care.

Published a landmark series of papers in The Lancet on overuse and underuse around the world that involved 27 international experts from nine countries. (2017)

Founded the Right Care Alliance, an advocacy organization whose recent work has brought national attention to the insulin-rationing crisis in America.

Publish the Lown Weekly, an email newsletter featuring curated and original content that maintains a high rate of reader engagement and satisfaction. 

Convened six national conferences attracting more than 200 attendees annually and featuring luminary speakers, such as Don Berwick, Diane Meier, Harvey Fineberg, John Ioannidis, and Rita Redberg. (2012-2018)

Developed a best-in-class risk adjustment tool (Risk Stratification Index) for hospital patient outcomes.

Published a major report on state spending on health care and community conditions in California, the first in series of state analyses. (2019)

Published a landmark report on the epidemic of Medication Overload (harmful polypharmacy) among older Americans. (2019)

Annual presenters of the Shkreli Awards, a top-ten list of the worst examples of profiteering and dysfunction in health care, and featuring an esteemed panel of judges, including Mona Hana-Attisha, Victor Montori, and Jeanne Lenzer.

Consistently attracted and engaged high-profile funders such as Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Well Being Trust, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and The Commonwealth Fund.

Numerous keynotes delivered by Lown leadership at international and national meetings such as Preventing OverdiagnosisAcademyHealth, and the Society for Participatory Medicine.

Numerous op-eds and blog posts published in outlets ranging from the Boston Globe to the San Francisco Chronicle and Health Affairs.

Earned hundreds of media mentions including NBCNPRTeen VogueThe Boston GlobeThe GuardianKaiser Health News, and many more.